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Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs Hardcover – March 9, 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Kevin Boland has been too busy with baseball and his girlfriend, Mira, to write much poetry since we first met him, in Shakespeare Bats Cleanup (2003). In this verse-novel sequel, his dad gives him a new journal, and Kevin remembers how much he likes writing. His already waning interest in Mira decreases further after he attends an open-mike poetry reading and meets Amy, who has a boyfriend and just wants to be “poetry friends.” The two teens exchange e-mails and poems, experimenting with form, including couplets, pantoums, and tankas. Kevin observes, “If she can write a sestina, I’m gonna love her madly.” The well-crafted poetry is firmly rooted in the experiences of regular teens and addresses subjects that range from breakups to baseball. Koertge works in some unobtrusive poetry instruction, and poems like Amy’s funny Transylvanian limericks and Kevin’s poignant reflections on “moving on” will inspire teens to try writing their own. Appealing and accessible, this sequel provides rewards on many levels. Grades 6-9. --Lynn Rutan

About the Author

Ron Koertge is the author of many acclaimed novels, including DEADVILLE, STONER AND SPAZ, THE BRIMSTONE JOURNALS, and his first novel-in-verse about Kevin Boland, SHAKESPEARE BATS CLEANUP. A two-time winner of the PEN Award, Ron Koertge lives in South Pasadena, California.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; 1 edition (March 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763644358
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763644352
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,331,965 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What's wonderful about this book, the sequel to Shakespeare Bats Cleanup, is the types of poems the hero writes: they are outstanding examples of what a high school poet can write. I can see that teachers would want to use this book in class. What's weak about the book is the plot: it's not that interesting. The hero seems oblivious, for a poet. Of course, he is a teen, so he does have a lot of learning ahead of him, but, ironically, the first book, in which the hero was bedridden and weak, had a more compelling plot. But if you're considering buying one of the many YA books written in free verse or, in this case, some traditional poetic forms, Koertge's are still at the top of the list.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of the few poetry books written for boys in Middle School. While there are many poetry books for girls, this one is finally for a boy. My son needed a poetry book for school and loved this one. It's written in free verse and reads like a story rather than a poem. My son used this book to write his Forensic Speech piece (topic: poetry interpretatioin). The boy in the book talks about the loss of his mom, how he gets along with dad, his friends, his girl friend and baseball. I would recommend it to any Middle School student.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm preparing to use this in a middle school classroom. Lots of white space on the page. Great use of figurative language and poetry examples. The best part is my students will eagerly be ready to voice their opinions on the plot and characters.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an interesting mix of plot and delivery. Koertge combines YA story lines (Kevin is wavering between two girls he likes; dealing with his dad's foray into dating after the death of his mom, baseball) with a format that (sadly) will not grab most young recreational readers. I loved Koertge's demonstrations and explanations of various types of poetry. I hope anyone who teaches poetry or is encouraging young people to explore poetry will consider using this book or giving it as a gift, for that is its real strength.
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Format: Hardcover
As a teacher and librarian it is always awesome when authors write books that can be used in the classroom. There are great examples of all different types of poetry here:

* Pantoum
* Blank Verse
* Haiku
* Couplets
* Sestina
* Elegy

and much more! Both of the authors books, Shakespeare Bats Cleanup and Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs, have wonderful, fluid story lines and it is awesome to watch Kevin (who strictly identified himself as an athlete) discover the magic of poetry.

I recommend this book for any parent, teacher or librarian who wants to have books about poetry that are great for reluctant readers because lets face it, telling a kid that you have a great book about poetry for them will probably result in a look of slight terror.

At a non-imposing 170 pages, Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs is an easy sell because it has sports for the guys and a little romance for the girls. For those kids who enjoy a tear-jerker there is also plenty of poetry/story line about Kevin's mom who has passed away and how he and his father are dealing with it.

I've recently dedicated a whole section in my library to books written in prose. You would be surprised how many there are out there and these two books will be part of the star attraction. Get these books now, seriously....with video games, TV, iPhones and everything else, kids are being exposed to things like poetry less and less. Who knows, maybe the kid you give these books to will be our next great poet!
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